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Sean Spicer Gets His Groove On

Sean Spicer, President Trump’s Press Secretary, seemed an unlikely choice to many conservatives.  

Spicer was the spokesman for the Republican National Committee and had worked his way through the rungs of service as a Capitol Hill Press Secretary before joining the George W. Bush administration. 

Sean SpicerIn short, to many observers outside of DC, Sean Spicer looked a lot like the establishment Republicans Donald Trump campaigned against in the primaries. 

However, Spicer’s conservative skeptics hadn’t seen him up close as I had when we worked together on Capitol Hill and at the 2008 Republican National Convention. 

They didn’t know that Sean Spicer is a patriot: A U.S. Navy Reserve commander whose duty station was once the USS Cole; they didn’t know that Spicer, still in the Navy Reserve, took part in joint exercises in Sweden, Germany and Guam and is now assigned to the Joint Staff’s naval reserve contingent; and, most importantly, they didn’t know that Sean Spicer is a very smart guy with a zest for intellectual combat and a deep understanding of the establishment media’s role in the swamp President Trump plans to drain. 

And the proof of Sean Spicer’s unique ability to get President Trump’s message out is how he has hit the ground running – and hit the establishment media – during his first few days on the job. 

On Saturday Spicer called the media in on short notice to scorch them for a vicious lie about President Trump removing a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. 

And let’s be clear, that false story wasn’t some rookie blunder, but an attempt to incite and deepen the racial animus in the country and incite opposition to President Trump. Spicer was exactly correct to call-out the media for reporting and rereporting that blatant lie. 

On Monday Spicer held his first daily press briefing and again demonstrated to the DC establishment media how smart he is and that things were going to be different in this White House by giving the first two questions to outlets from outside of DC – the New York Post and the Christian Broadcasting Network. 

Those of us who have been around conservative politics and the White House press briefings will remember that years ago the first question – by media imposed tradition – always went to the late Helen Thomas, a Far Left anti-Semite, who was the doyen of the Washington press corps. 

Giving Thomas the first question always assured that the tone of the daily press briefing, when a Republican was in the White House, would start on a negative note and if possible go downhill from there. 

Spicer was very smart to give the first question to the New York Post, an outside the Beltway outlet whose reporter, Daniel Halper, asked a substantive question on a Trump signature issue, “When will you guys commence the building of the border wall?” 

This is a question Americans outside the Beltway actually care about, and Spicer gave a substantive answer, we’re working with Congress to appropriate the money to commence construction. 

The second question was also a question Americans outside the Beltway care about. 

Jennifer Wishon of the Christian Broadcasting Network asked, “Of all the policy actions that the president could have taken, [he] chose to reinstate the Mexico City policy [banning U.S. funding for groups that provide abortions overseas]. What message is he sending here? Does he see the elimination or reduction of abortions as American value? And also, here at home, can pro-life Americans expect him to put his signature on legislation that will defund Planned Parenthood?” 

Once again, Spicer was able to give a substantive answer to question real Americans outside the Beltway care about: “I think the president, it’s no secret, has made it very clear that he’s a pro-life president… And I think the reinstatement of this policy is not just something that echoes that value, but respects tax payer funding as well, and ensures that we’re standing up not just for life of the unborn, but for also taxpayer funds that are being spent overseas to perform an action that is contrary to the values of this president.” 

Now fast forward to later in the briefing when he took a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta: “Why bring the crowd size issue up at the CIA? Did he tell you, Sean, I'm upset about this?” 

Real America to television reporter Jim Acosta: We don’t care about the intramural fights in DC between the media and the White House over how you measure an audience, but we will note for the record that Gallup found that TV news now has a lower approval rating (18%) than does news on the internet at 19%. 

Spicer, who grew the RNC’s social media presence and built its formidable rapid response operation, also on Monday announced that the White House will open four so-called Skype seats to reporters outside of Washington, DC.  

The idea is to "open up the briefing room to journalists who live beyond 50 miles" of the DC area. Spicer also explained that the virtual access will give news outlets that don't have press passes or the financial resources to travel a chance to attend White House news sessions. 

"I think this can benefit us all by giving a platform to voices that are not necessarily based here in the Beltway," Spicer said according to reporter Billy Steele. 

Conservatives should rejoice that outlets with their audience in the heartland, where President Trump won the election, now will have another option and we won’t have to take a feed from CNN or AP and report on the non-substantive and anti-Trump questions asked by the likes of Jim Acosta.  

Thanks to Sean Spicer, conservative outlets finally have a seat in the White House press briefing room and we will have reporters in the room to ask questions Americans in flyover country actually care about.

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